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South African Songeziwe Mahlangu Wins the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature For His Story ‘Pen Umbra’



Songeziwe Mahlangu

Songeziwe Mahlangu

The winner of the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature was announced at the Intercontinental Hotel Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday the 15th of March. South African Songeziwe Mahlangu emerged winner –  beating Nigerian Chinelo Okparanta, author of ‘Happiness, Like Water‘ and South African Nadia Davids, author of ‘An Imperfect Blessing’.

The Winning Book

Songeziwe Mahlangu’s book ‘Pen Umbra’ earned him the prize money of £15,000. The organisers also announced the other perks of winning:

The winner will be awarded a cash prize of £15,000 and a high-end device, in addition to a book tour to three African cities. The winning writer will also embark on the Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, which will afford them significant opportunities to network with other writers and publishers and time and resources to work on their second book. The two runners up will also win a book tour and Etisalat will purchase 1,000 copies of all three books for distribution across the continent.

About the award:

This is the second edition of the award which was created by Etisalat Nigeria in 2013 to celebrate young, first-time African writers of published fiction books and to promote the reading culture in Africa. The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating such first-time African writers of fiction. The prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative African talent and to support the literary industry on the continent.

Nadia Davids



Chinelo Okparanta

Chinelo Okparanta

HappinessLikeWaterCongratulations to the winner and the other finalists! Keep blazing the trail in African literature.





  1. Adeleye Oluwatosin

    March 16, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Congratz to d winner…Nd congratz to our runner-ups as well…

  2. Adeleye Oluwatosin

    March 16, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Nadia davids nd chinelo okparanta what a beauty..!!!!

  3. Scared homosapien

    March 16, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Please, i’ll like to read their individual literature. I love these kind of things. Congrats to the winner!

  4. Nkoyo Geronimo

    March 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Congrats to the winner and runner up. Kudos to etisalat. Something educating and encouraging……I hope a young Nigerian writer bags it soon

  5. Tosin

    March 16, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    More more more distribution would be lovely.

  6. Real McCoy

    March 17, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Congrats to him, and thanks to Etisalat for promoting African literature.

  7. Demilade

    March 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Congratulations to all the winners. xx

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